How to do high-density plantation in apples?

High-density apple plantation
High-density apple plantation

This blog contains a comprehensive information about the the high-density plantation of apples.

Apple ranks fourth among fruits produced worldwide behind banana, orange, and grape, and is commercially the most significant temperate fruit. China is the world’s leading producer of apples. Apple is primarily grown in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and the hills of Uttarakhand in India. Additionally, it is marginally grown in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Punjab and Sikkim.

What is a high-density plantation in apples?

The high-density plantation is a revolutionary method for increasing crop yield and profit per unit by planting the greatest number of plants per unit of land area.

In this innovative farming method, apple trees are systematically and densely planted.

Famous planted varieties are Auvi Fuji, Jeromine, Red Velox, Scarlet Spur-II, Super Chief, Redlum Gala and Pink Lady.

The apple trees are planted in rows, with the first row spaced 2 to 3 meters apart and the second row spaced 3 to 5 meters apart.

The main obstacles that high-density apple orchardists deal with include labour shortages for picking, grading, and packing; a lack of rootstock; a lack of irrigation; a shortage of fertilizers; a lack of plant protection chemicals, and a lack of technical knowledge

High-density plantation of apples

Soil and climate requirements for High-density plantation in Apple

The high-density plantation works best on level, fertile terrain with access to an irrigation system.

The optimal soil for growing apples is well-drained loam with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. Avoid using soils with dense subsoil or thick clay.

One of the most crucial elements impacting apple cultivation is temperature. Therefore, places that experience winter temperatures below  90°F (32 °C) for a long enough period of time are suitable for apple growing.

High-density plantation of apples
High-density plantation of apples

Types of high-density plantation 

High-density planting (HDP) is a technique used to overcome low productivity and a long gestation time for early returns by increasing the number of plants per unit area to boost the yield of fruit crops.

High-Density Planting Types are

Semi-intensive system500–1,000 trees per hectare.
Intensive system.1,000–10,000 trees/ha.
Extremely intensive system10,000 to 100,000 plants per hectare.

High-density planting components

  • Use of dwarf scion varieties.
  • Adoption of dwarfing rootstocks and interstocks.
  • Practical training and pruning.
  • Use of herbicides that control plant development.
  • Appropriate crop management techniques.

Benefits of High-Density plantations

  • Best use of resources and land.
  • High-quality fruit crop production.
  • Increased yield per unit area.
  • The simplicity of cross-cultural interactions.
  • Plant protection and harvesting.
  • Export quality produces.
High-density plantation of apples
High-density plantation of apples

Comparison between traditional apple planting vs high-density apple planting

ParametersTraditional apple plantingHigh-density apple planting
Productivity rateLow (less than 20 t/ha)High (greater than 60 t/ha)
Chances of occurrence of disease High; this is a result of the canopy’s tight cover and poor air circulation.Low; as a result of a small canopy and a high leaf area index
Fruit quality Poor; as a result of less photosynthetic photon UX density (PPFD) and reduced penetration and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) diffusion.High; as a result of more photosynthetic photon UX density  (PPFD) and greater penetration and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) diffusion.
Planting densitiesLess (100 to 278 plants)More (2222 to 3333 plants)
Input use efficiencyLesserHigher
Yield potentialLowHigh
Mechanization Difficult Easy and cost-effective.
Training system Modified central leader system, Centre  leader, open center,  Espalier and Tall Spindle system

High-density apple orchardists confront challenges.

In particular, the spur type of variety has seen significant growth in productivity and area of high-density apples during the past 20 years. In relation to the cultivation and marketing of fruits, the expansion of both area and production has also resulted in numerous issues. 

The primary issues that the high-density apple orchardist faces are as follows:

1. Challenges with the rootstock 

Their key issues are a scarcity of rootstock, a delay in getting rootstock, low root stock quality, expensive costs, and a high prevalence of diseases.

2. Irrigation challenge

Fruit quality and yield are negatively impacted by inadequate irrigation since it severely impairs fruit setting and growth. Irrigation is one of the most serious issues confronting large farmers.

3. Challenges with fertilizers

Fruit production, both in terms of quality and quantity, is greatly influenced by fertilizers sprays.

Lack of fertilizer availability negatively impacts plant growth, fruit quality, and yield. All farmers confront the same major issues, including lack of timely supply, high cost, and lack of availability of micronutrients.

4. Challenge with plant protection chemicals

Fruit plants are sensitive, and a variety of illnesses can harm them from the roots to the leaves. Without plant protection chemicals, producing fruit, especially apples, is impossible. The primary issues experienced by all farmers when it comes to plant protection agents are their lack of awareness of the application of plant protection chemicals, insufficient sprays, and ill-timing of sprays.

5. Lack of Technical Knowledge

The primary issues raised by the producers with relation to technical knowledge surrounding orchard establishment- lack of understanding of variety polynizer, plant training, plant trimming, the timetable for applying pesticides, fertilizer, and micronutrients, as well as the detection of diseases and the detection of insects and pests

How Fasal help in High-Density Planting of Apples

  • For apple plantations with large densities, the Fasal system is ideal.

It is an AI solution that keeps track of all these variables and enables farmers to make accurate day-to-day decisions about their apple orchards.

  • Using sensors, the Fasal system monitors farm factors required for high-density cultivation such as weather, microclimate, and soil conditions and forecasts pest or disease attacks well in advance. It then recommends the appropriate pesticides that have been certified by CIB&RC.
  • The Fasal system alerts apple farmers about any potential for rain over the following 14 days, allowing them to make better irrigation decisions.
  • Every Fasal system has soil moisture sensors that tell farmers when and where irrigation of the land is necessary.
  • Based on precise measurements of the soil moisture, these sensors also assist in determining the appropriate amount of water required for irrigation for high-density apple plantations.

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